Jim Craig – The ‘first of the 6-2’ game

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By December 1944, Celtic were in the Southern Division of the Scottish League and frankly, the club was not having a good season.

They had played 15, won 6, drawn one and lost 8, with a pretty horrific record of 26 goals for and 29 against!

On this day in 1944, a Celtic team of Willie Miller, Bobby Hogg, Pat MacDonald, Malky MacDonald, Jimmy Mallan, John McPhail, Matt Lynch, Hugh Gilmartin ( making his debut), Jimmy Delany, Joe McLaughlin and Pat Rodgers ran out at Parkhead in front of a crowd of 5,000 to face Albion Rovers in a league match.

The Wee Rovers were also having a bad season. After winning their opening match in the league campaign, they then lost most of the others before the visit to Celtic Park.

To be blunt, Celtic ran amok that afternoon, winning 5-0, the goals coming from Joe Mclaughlin (3), Matt Lynch and a penalty by Jimmy Delaney. At the heart of the Rovers defence that day was a young man destined for great things at Parkhead.

On that afternoon, however, although he gave his all, Jock Stein could do little to stop the rampant Celtic forwards, the five goals scored by them that day contributing to the 104 that Rovers lost in the 30 matches of the league campaign!

There was a player called Allan Martin who joined Celtic from Hibs on 4 June 1895. He was a centre-forward and only played that one season of 1895-96 but in 18 matches for the club he scored 18 goals, a fine performance by any standard.

Allan was in the team which beat Rangers after extra-time at Ibrox on 14 December 1895 to clinch the club’s 3rd League Championship. We now recall this match as the ‘first of the 6-2s’.

Unfortunately, Allan Martin’s date-of-birth is not recorded anywhere in the Celtic records so, as no other Celtic player seems to have been born on this day, I suggest that we take the opportunity to remember a very fine participant in the club’s endeavours in those early years.

Jim Craig

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